$52 billion can provide social protection for every child in low-income countries: Satyarthi
Speaking at a high-level United Nations event, Mr. Satyarthi made a clear call for bold and proactive leadership to end child labor and poverty
Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi said $52 billion can provide social protection for every child and every pregnant woman in low-income countries, stressing that it’s “not a big sum” in a world that is has more than 2,000 billionaires.
Speaking at a United Nations high-level event on “Employment and social protection for poverty eradication and sustainable recovery” on September 28, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mr. Satyarthi 2014, made a clear call for bold and proactive leadership to end child labour. and poverty.
He said $52 billion can provide social protection for every child and every pregnant woman in low-income countries.
“It’s not a big sum. This is just two days of COVID relief measures as well as 0.4% of the social protection fund that is spent in rich countries,” he said during the virtual event.
“We are not that poor. I refuse to accept that the world is so poor when there are 2,755 billionaires in this world. We have made progress when we did not have enough resources, we have helped children and reduced child labour,” he said, adding that the world today is much more resourceful in technology and other fields.
“We have done it in the past and we will do it in the future. Bold ideas abound. But what we need is bold leadership in all spheres of life… compassion in leadership, courage in leadership, and proactive leadership with a sense of urgency,” said he declared.
Mr. Satyarthi noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed and exacerbated all the injustices and inequalities prevalent in society and that the worst victims are the most marginalized children, especially in developing, low-income and low-income countries. middle income.
He pointed out that many more children have been pushed into situations of chronic poverty due to the pandemic. These children are not educated, deprived of health care, do not have access to drinking water or healthy and clean air.
“It is children who are sold and bought like animals and sometimes at lower prices than animals,” he said in his impassioned remarks.
“It is the children who are exploited as child laborers and who are breaking their backs for our economies,” he said.
Emphasizing that “these children are our children,” Mr. Satyarthi warned that if nations are unable to protect their children, most of the Sustainable Development Goals will not be achieved.
He expressed concern that even in the pre-pandemic years of 2016 to 2020, around 10,000 children were being pushed into labor every day.
“There is no excuse for this. There is no justification for this because it was the pre-pandemic period. It is not just the apathy and callousness of the international community and of all of us, including me and you. It is a crime against the future of humanity,” he said.
He said the 160 million working children represent “160 million empty seats in the classroom” and that they are children who “work 160 million adult jobs”. Mr Satyarthi noted that even if education spending is adequate, “no one can bring these children to school” until more efforts are made to free them from “the grips of their masters”. He stressed that social protection programs will be successful, especially for children, when “we take swift and direct action so that these children can benefit directly. Only then will they be freed.” of these situations”. According to the concept note for the event, which was addressed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and several other world leaders and senior UN officials, the COVID-19 pandemic continues. to serve as a stark reminder of the perils arising from the global crisis. inequalities and a reminder of the urgency to redouble our efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
“The equivalent of an unprecedented 255 million jobs have been lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to a sharp increase in poverty and inequality. The decline in labor income has been distributed unevenly among workers, with youth, women and low-skilled workers experiencing the largest declines in disposable income,” the concept note states.
The high-level event included a policy discussion to define the ambitions needed for a socio-economic recovery to advance the creation of decent jobs, social protection and the eradication of poverty.
The event focused on pressing issues, including the application of effective economic, social and environmental policies at the national level through dialogue with social partners and other stakeholders; the global norms and standards that underpin socio-economic recovery and a just transition and the current efforts to achieve just transitions in the context of ambitious climate action and the COVID-19 recovery and the solutions that support the acceleration and intensification of these efforts, particularly in developing countries.